27 September 2018

The Philippines and Australia has expanded its Air Services Agreement (ASA) by adding 700 more seats to Australia's major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth from Manila during the two-day air consultation talks held on 25-26 September 2018 in Manila.

The existing ASA allows only 9,300 seating capacity per week. With the amendment capacity rises to 10,00 seats per week. Also agreed was the incremental increase of another 700 seats to 10,700 seats per week by the end of March 2019.

Unlimited capacity was also agreed to other airports in the Philippines and Australia with no restriction on capacity, frequency, and aircraft type.

The Philippines panel was represented by DOTr Aviation and Airports Undersecretary Manuel Antonio Tamayo, while Australia was represented by Executive Director Stephen Borthwick from Australia's Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development.

The new agreement will enable Cebu Pacific to add two more flights to Sydney and/or Melbourne and another two flights beginning 2019.

CEB Adds Macau From Cebu

27 September 2018

Low cost carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) will add another international destination from Cebu to Macau starting December 7, 2018. The flight will be flown four times a week on 180-seater Airbus A320 aircraft.

5J364 CEB1850 – 2200MFM 320 x246
5J365 MFM2245 – 0145+1CEB 320 x246

Airbus Wins PCG Helicopter

26 September 2018

Airbus has secured first of three orders from the Philippines Coast Guard for single H145 helicopter which will function in the search and rescue (SAR) as well as law enforcement missions.

The aircraft manufacturer disclosed that it is the first H145 in the Philippines.

The 4t rotorcraft will be equipped with high frequency radios, emergency flotation gear, fast roping capability, a cargo sling, a search light, and other systems consistent with the SAR, medical evacuation, maritime patrol, and law enforcement missions.

“We are honoured by the Philippine Coast Guard’s decision to introduce the country’s first parapublic H145 into its fleet, as the perfect complement to the current workhorse BO105 which has served the agency well for the past 40 years,” says Philippe Monteux, regional head for Airbus Helicopters.

Formerly known as EC145 T2, the H145 helicopter is a twin-engine multipurpose helicopter launched in March 2011 at the Heli Expo held at Orlando, Florida, United States, having completed its maiden flight in July 2010.It is an advanced version of the Eurocopter EC145, developed in association with Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

The new helicopter features an all-composite tail boom with fenestron shrouded tail rotor. It features new composite blades, duplex tail-rotor actuators and dual hydraulic circuits, along with a newly designed gearbox. The helicopter features all-composite structure and aerodynamic geometry. It also features a skid-type landing gear.

The helicopter features a spacious cabin, which can either accommodate one pilot and ten passengers, or two pilots and nine passengers. It has a total cabin volume of 213,15ft3 and cargo volume of 6,04m3. Two hinged cockpit doors are provided and a sliding window.

The cabin features two passenger sliding doors and two more rear hinged clam-shell doors. It is fitted with a ram-air and electrical ventilating system.

The H145 helicopter is powered by two powerful Arriel 2E engines manufactured by Safran Turbomeca. The engine has a take-off power of 1,038shp.

It features a dual channel full authority digital engine control (FADEC). It was certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in January 2013.

The maximum cruise speed of the helicopter is 134k (248km/h), and the maximum take-off range is 370nm (680km) at sea level.

The helicopter has a maximum weight of 3,650kg (8,047lb). It has a useful load capacity of 1,731kg (3,816lb) and a maximum cargo sling load capacity of 1,500kg (3,307lb).

The H145 is expected to replace the BO105C which will retire from service soon after repeat orders for two others are placed and delivered.

PAL Gets Four Star Nod From APEX

26 September 2018

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has been awarded a four-star rating by New York-based aviation group Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) for its inflight service, seats and cabin products, food and beverage, entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity.

APEX gave the Four-Star Major Regional Airline 2019 title was given to the company on Monday. Only 14% of the 500 airlines surveyed worldwide was able to attain a four-star rating, while only 9% received the highest five-star prize.

London-based Skytrak earler named PAL a 4-Star Global Airline certification and the 2nd most improved airline.

PAL To Expand Zamboanga Hub

24 September 2018

Flag Carrier Philippine Airlines is expanding its Zamboanga Hub by growing its route network beginning next year.

PAL Express is set to resume flights to Cebu and Tawi-Tawi starting summer of next year and will grow Davao to daily flights. It is also planning to add Zamboanga-Clark flights. 

The low cost subsidiary will also open Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu starting 1 April 2019 four times a week and three times a week, respectively. All routes are to be flown by Q400NG planes.

The airline intends to station one Q400 aircraft in Zamboanga airport to service these destinations.

PAL Express currently flies to Manila twice daily, and Davao four times a week on Turboprop. It will fly Davao daily beginning October 28.

Subic Needs 1 Billion To Work Again

21 September 2018

Subic International Airports (SIA) needs 1 Billion pesos of capital infusion to work again full time, according to the Transport Ministry.

Usec.for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo said Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is now in the process of setting up a multi-million rehabilitation program to procure various navigational, landing, and communications equipment for the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA).

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the agency has procured a new 51-million Automated Weather Observation System (Awos), which provides continuous, real-time information on weather conditions.

Eisma added that it has allocated some 502 million in the 2019 budget for various navigational, landing, and communications equipment that will replace the old facilities due to obsolescence.

Another 232 million worth of new equipment will also be needed for the airport terminal to work according to Eisma. These include x-ray machines, closed-circuit television, ambulance, sweeper truck, flight information display system, fire detection and alarm system, aerial platform, and pickup trucks and passenger vans.

Senator Richard Gordon earlier slammed DOTr for not using Subic Airport as alternate airport for Manila when it was closed for international wide-body traffic due to Xiamen Air aircraft incursion to the active runway.

Tamayo disclosed that Subic Airport is not really a full weather airport due to deficiency of its facilities. DOTr added that some of the airports equipment like the ILS were moved to Manila Airport in 2010 as replacement parts for its ageing ILS equipment that was knocked down by typhoon before it was replaced with a new one in 2016.

Subic airport was built in 1951 as the US Navy’s Naval Air Station Cubi Point. It was converted into a commercial airport in 1992 and transferred to SBMA under the stewardship of then Chairman and now Senator Richard Gordon.

SBMA spent almost US$100 million to upgrade and expand its runway, as it also added a $12.6-million passenger terminal in 1996. It's main anchor tenant was American cargo giant Federal Express until 2009.

The Subic airfield facility boast a 2,744-meter runway with full taxiway and can take 24 wide-body aircraft for parking at any given time, while two passenger tubes at the terminal building can process 700 passengers per hour. The airport can also accommodate almost all types of modern aircraft at more than 20 movements per hour when it was fully operational in 1998. It has since become a shadow of its past.

Five Airports To Be Night Rated in 2019

20 September 2019

Five Class 1 Airports are scheduled to be upgraded and opened for Night Landing capability starting next year, the Department of Transport (DOTr) said in its budget briefing for next year.

The airports in Cauayan, Panglao, Dipolog, Pagadian, and Cotabato will be activated for night landing capability after completion of installation of equipment and navigational facilities.

Usec.for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo said DOTr intends to install DVOR-DME equipments to Dipolog and Pagadian airports in 2019.

Instrument Landing Equipment(ILS) will likewise be installed in Panglao in 2019 followed by Dipolog and Cotabato making it instrument rated airport by 2020.

Meanwhile, Night Rating upgrade for Naga, Tuguegarao and two other airports are suspended due to budget cuts and re-allocation of funds for emergency repairs and procurement.

DOTr has night-rated four airports in 2017, namely Dumaguete, Legaspi, Butuan, amd Roxas.making a total of 19 airports with night rating facility as of this date.

PAL A350 Flies LHR, LAX

18 September 2018

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has began its first long haul flight to London (PR720) on September 16. Its second long haul debut is Los Angeles scheduled on September 21 as PR112. It is scheduled to fly regularly to New York beginning October 29. Since arrival of the aircraft type, the airline has been doing regional flights to Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Tokyo, as well as Presidential flights to Israel and Jordan.

Tuguegarao Airport Badly Hit By Typhoon

15 September 2018

Tuguegarao Airport Terminal in Cagayan suffered structural and equipment damages  brought by typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) in a report made by Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade.

Secretary Tugade discloses airport will need to be closed to commercial traffic for couple of days to facilitate terminal repair. Meanwhile, they are working on the opening of the runway to make way for C-130 relief flights.

The upgraded terminal was recently opened in March this year.

Weather conditions in Tuguegarao remains challenging to aircraft as of posting time which prevented the Philippine Air Force (PAF) from flying to the area.

SMHC Does Not Have Capacity To Build Bulacan Airport

10 September 2018

Philippine Secretary of Finance Carlos Dominguez disclosed at the Senate this morning that San Miguel Corporation (SMC) subsidiary doesn't have financial capacity to build Bulacan Airport.

In his disclosure, Dominguez said Bulacan Airport Project of San Miguel Holdings Corporation is worth ₱700 Billion (US$13 billion).

Under the Build Operate Transfer (BOT) law following the 70-30 equity mix of financial investment into the project, SMHC, the project proponent, should have at least thirty percent (30%) equity into the project equivalent to
200 billion(US$3.7B) of assets for the project. SMHC however only has ₱60 billion(US$1.1B) of Capital Assets based on their latest audited financial statement in 2016.

"How can a P60 billion company finances a P700 billion project?" quips Dominguez.

Dominguez added the bank lenders require sovereign guarantee from the Philippine government in the amount of ₱140 billion (US$2.5B) to complete the 30 percent equity which is unacceptable.

"Its parent company (SMC) may however guarantee said investments jointly and severally. Meaning, it will all be SMC's undertaking. But that is not the proposal. They have to change the proponent company to make it possible" Dominguez explains.

"The actions we do and the documents we signed have ripple effects on the next generation. The burden is on my office to ensure the future generation does not suffer the consequences of poor decisions of previous governments," says Dominguez.

The NEDA-ICC approval explicitly mentions that "the whole project costs will be born by the proponent and with no cost requirement from the government".

"Let me asked you a question? Why would we not compare a farmer with a company investing in an airport. A farmer has no access to financing. He doesn't even owned the land. In fact he is the one who needs subsidy or guarantee of the government. But this corporation who are making tremendous profit, with access to banks, require a guarantee even if its their own fault if their airport isn't operational? This government guarantees for force majeure, and material adverse government actions can make project fungible but it cannot turn a bad project into a good one," Dominguez said in closing.

Dominguez has been prodding San Miguel Corporation to guarantee the big project but up to this date no revised offer to the government has been made.

Meanwhile, Transportation Undersecretary for Planning Ruben S. Reinoso, Jr. disclosed that they already talked to SMC last week and the company agreed to shoulder the cost of the project, and they are just waiting for SMC to submit the proposal by Friday so that they can already draft the propose "Concession Agreement".

Under the rules, concession terms are approved by the DOTr first before being forwarded to the Finance Department for contract evaluation and approval before being set out for a Swiss challenge, where other parties may present counter offers that San Miguel Corporation may match.

Truly, Heart of a Filipino!

Find Us An Airline That Do This

4 September 2018

Image courtesy Rina Sheryl Estabillo - Dajao

PR1 Arrives in Amman

6 August 2018
Philippine Airlines First

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte arrives at the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan on board a Philippine Airlines A350-900 chartered flight PR001 from Israel to begin the second part of his historic visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on September 5, 2018.

Congress To Allot 3B For Clark Second Runway

5 September 2018

The House of Representatives will allot 3 Billion Pesos for the Construction of Clark International Airport parallel runway 02R/20L for inclusion in the 2019 General Appropriations (GAA) budget, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Surigao del Sur 1st District Representative Prospero Pichay said during a House committee hearing on the NAIA Shutfown due to XIamen Air runway excursion, that the real problem of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is the runway which Clark International Airport (CIA) can provide.

Pichay asked Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) President and CEO Alexander Cauguiran if they made provisions for the new runway and how much it costs.

CIAC replied in the negative saying they don't have the money to build the runway. It is incumbent upon Congress to provide funds for them to make it happen.

Pichay said committee should make a representation to re-align the funds to make a second runway in Clark International Airport so that incidents like this will not happen.

"We are now in the process of hearing the budget and if it takes only P1 billion or P2 billion perhaps we can insert," he said.

Meanwhile, CAAP Director General Captain Jim Sydiongco disclosed that the new clark runway also requires almost 1 billion worth of navigational equipments to work at night time and during bad weather and its also expensive.

A bi-directioal Instrument Landing System(ILS) already cost around US$10 million (540 million pesos).

This will be cheaper compared to building a new airport in Bulacan, Pichay added.

MCIA Commences Runway Overlay Works

5 September 2018

On-going runway overlay works at the the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA). Cebu airport will be closed from Sept. 1 to 21, from 1:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. for overlay and repair works.

Just Like What We Said

2 September 2018
First Philippine Airlines plane in Israel, the Airbus A350-900 (RP-C3501)

Philippine President Rodrigo R, Duterte has embarked on a visit to Israel via PAL A350-900 (see our report here), the first such trip by a Philippine president, as part of a regional tour that will also include a stop in Jordan.

The 73-year-old said on Sunday he would seek to re-affirm and renew relations with the two countries, where an estimated 76,000 Filipinos live and work.

"I leave today for landmark visits that underscore our vision for our country - a responsible member of the world community - a Philippines that is friend to all and an enemy to no one," Duterte said before departing for Tel Aviv.

At least 1,400 Filipinos are set to meet President Rodrigo Duterte when he arrives at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv 8:10pm Sunday night and will go immediately to the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem for his meeting with the Filipino community.